Here’s the latest from Baltimore…
- The Orioles are interested in Pirates non-roster outfielder Matt Joyce, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports (Twitter link). As an Article XX(B) player, Joyce must be informed by tomorrow if he’s making the Bucs’ 25-man roster or else the Pirates will need to pay him $100K to retain his rights on a minor league assignment. With Hyun Soo Kim’s status in question, Baltimore is clearly looking other left-handed hitting outfield options that could be available. Aside from Joyce, the O’s have also shown interest in David Murphy.
- The Orioles talked to the Astros about outfielder Preston Tucker this offseason, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko reports. Talks didn’t go anywhere, however, since Houston asked for Kevin Gausman in return. Gausman was a popular figure in trade demands over the winter, and as you might expect, the O’s had no interest in dealing the former top prospect. Tucker didn’t have quite the same prospect pedigree (Gausman was selected fourth overall in 2012 while Tucker was a seventh-rounder in that same draft) but the outfielder posted a very strong .867 OPS over 1530 plate appearances in the minors and hit .243/.297/.437 with 13 homers over 323 PA in the bigs last year as a rookie. Tucker will serve in a backup role with Houston this season, as his path to more playing time may have been blocked when Colby Rasmus accepted a qualifying offer last fall.
- Speaking of Gausman, the Orioles officially announced to media (including MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli) that the young righty will be placed on the DL to begin the season. Gausman has been bothered by tendinitis in his throwing shoulder but the injury isn’t thought to be too serious. Buck Showalter said Gausman could be activated in time for a start on April 10 against Minnesota.